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My baby regurgitates: it is serious?

 

My baby systematically spits up milk after feeding and often cries. What can I do?

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017

These regurgitations are harmless in the majority of cases. There is therefore no particular need to worry. You must be patient while their system matures.  The switch to a more upright position after feedings may help to resolve the problem. Until then, here is an overview of some effective measures you can take.

How to tell the difference between reflux and regurgitation

In the case of reflux, this painless rejection of milk after a feed is the result of stomach contents flowing back into the oesophagus, with no consequences for your baby's growth. The causes: your baby has eaten too much and is simply evacuating the excess; or, their digestive system is immature and the valve, or sphincter, at the entrance to the stomach is not yet working properly.

If your little bundle of joy projectile vomits their milk regularly during the day and at night, they may have gastro-oesophageal reflux linked to an inflammation of the stomach lining, stomach hyperacidity or a possible allergy to the proteins contained in cow's milk.The result is that your baby may be in pain and you, as a parent, are at a loss as to what to do. Seek the advice of a healthcare professional without delay.

What can I do in practical terms?

If your baby regurgates often, you need to take certain measures.

  • In terms of food, this is for your pediatrician to decide, but bear in mind that it is possible to thicken breast milk with thickeners in the form of gluten-free rice cereal (available in pharmacies). If your baby is a big eater: break up their meals by reducing the quantity of breastmilk at each feed and adding an extra breastmilk feed during the day.
  • For your baby's well-being, there are some precautions you can take to help them feel more at ease. This is perhaps not the best time to be bouncing your baby up and down and pretending they are an aeroplane, but a burp would probably help. Also, try putting them down to sleep with their head slightly raised (by placing a folded towel under their mattress, for example). Don't forget either that if their nappy is too tight, it may be squeezing their abdomen.

 

If nothing works and your baby is still regularly regurgitating and crying, there are medicines available to help relieve their discomfort. Ask your healthcare professional for advice.

 

Opinion

I'm breastfeeding, what do I do?

Continue, as your breast milk is not to blame! According to the advice of your healthcare professional, you could try expressing milk and thickening it with appropriate thickeners. They might also prescribe a suitable form of medication for your baby.

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